UNDERWATER: ALIEN, JUST ADD WATER

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Ever played with Grow Dinosaurs? They’re little toys that you drop in water that are supposed to expand into dinosaurs, but they never really come out right. They always, at least for me, came out like somewhat dinosaur-shaped blobs that would bob just under the water. That’s essentially what Under water is, a somewhat Alien-shaped blob of a movie that bobs just under the water. Kristen Stewart plays the lead, an engineerwith a troubled past, because every horror movie protagonist must be either a teenager, someone with a troubled past, or both. To her credit, she does the best with what she is given, and she manages to stand out among the supporting cast of monster bait.

If you’ve seen Alien, you’ve got the general idea and very little will surprise you. On the plus side, drawing so much from Alien means that there are a few legitimately scary moments. Granted, these are, at best, reminiscent of the scariest scenes from Alien. At worst, they are blatant rip-offs. Even the inside of the underwater outpost has adistinct space station vibe.

On a technical level, the film fails to live up to its extraterrestrial icon. The score is a poor accompaniment, almost drowning out the jargon-loaded dialogue at certain points. Said dialogue often falls into the pit of meaningless techno babble. And in pushing the underwater atmosphere, they create a barely comprehensible visual mess that at times leads one to suspect that the theater attendants forgot to clean off the projector. The movie was filmed three years ago under Fox, and is now being dumped in the cinematic trash heap that is January in an effort by Disney to clean out the closet of its acquisition.All in all, 2 out of 5 Skip it.